Whereas Matthew connected Jesus with Abraham and David and Luke connected Jesus with Adam and all his descendants, John takes his readers all the way back to the beginning of the Bible, the opening words of the book of Genesis. He begins by saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Genesis begins with the same phrase, “In the beginning.” Actually, the book of Genesis is named in the Hebrew Bible with this phrase but in Hebrew: Bereshit! Carson explains this well and attaches the beginning of the Gospel of John not only with Genesis but also with Mark’s Gospel. He writes, “In the beginning immediately reminds any reader of the Old Testament of the opening verse of the Bible: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis begins with creation; John refers to creation, but soon turns to what Paul calls ‘new creation.’ Both in Genesis and here, the context shows that the beginning is absolute: the beginning of all things, the beginning of the universe. The Greek word behind ‘beginning’, archē, often bears the meaning ‘origin,’ and there may be echoes of that here, for the Word who already was ‘in the beginning’ is soon shown to be God’s agent of creation, what we might call the ‘originator’ of all things. Granted that the Word enjoyed this role, it was inevitable that at the origin of everything he already was. Since Mark begins his Gospel with the same word, ‘The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ’, it is also possible that John is making an allusion to his colleague’s work, saying in effect, ‘Mark has told you about the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry; I want to show you that the starting point of the gospel can be traced farther back than that, before the beginning of the entire universe.’”[1]

The New World Translations says that “The Word was a god.” They base this on the fact that the word “god” has no definite article in Greek. Utley explains this, “There is no ARTICLE with Theos, but Theos is placed first in the Greek phrase for emphasis. This verse and v. 18 are strong statements of the full deity of the pre-existent Logos. Jesus is fully divine as well as fully human. He is not the same as God the Father, but He is the very same divine essence as the Father.”[2] Much more has been said on this issue but suffice it to note that of 217 translations of the Bible over the last few hundred years, 174 translate it to say Jesus “was God.” 43 translations say that Jesus was “a god.” The collector of this information adds his commentary by saying, “The majority is NOT always right! Many innocent people are sent to jail by juries of 12 where every single one of the 12 were wrong.”[3] I must add that the majority is most often right and they are here.

But to even those that reject the obvious here, it is clear that they all believe that the “word” referred to here is Jesus. John will emphasize that later when he says, “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Plummer says, “But the Logos is the Son of God, existing from all eternity, and manifested in space and time in the Person of Jesus Christ, in whom had been hidden from eternity all that God had to say to man, and who was the living expression of the Nature and Will of God.”[4] John also tells us that Jesus is the one that explains or “reveals” the Father to us. That’s part of what he meant when His disciples asked to see the Father. He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”

[1] Carson, D. A. 1991. The Gospel according to John. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.

[2] Utley, Robert James. 1999. The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Vol. Volume 4. Study Guide Commentary Series. Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[3] https://net-comber.com/john-1-1.html

[4] Plummer, A. 1896. The Gospel according to S. John. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.